Sotheby’s Institute of Art (SIA-London) is delighted to announce a new collaboration with the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. The two institutions will jointly organize a series of events each year featuring established and emerging international artists. To this end Dr Jos Hackforth-Jones (CEO of Sotheby’s Institute of Art and Director of SIA-London) and Baroness Valerie Amos CH (Director of SOAS) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) last month, to formalize the shared undertaking between the two institutions. This collaboration is a reflection of shared values and objectives and reflects the internationalism of both institutions.
Photo: Jos Hackforth-Jones (CEO of Sotheby’s Institute of Art and Director of SIA-London) and Baroness Valerie Amos CH (Director of SOAS) sign Memorandum of Understanding
According to Dr Marcus Verhagen, Program Director of the MA in Contemporary Art, SIA-London this agreement also underscores the global nature of contemporary art studies at SIA: “one of the distinguishing features of our program is its global scope, its engagement with art practices from around the world—we are keen to look beyond the old Euro-American canon. We believe you can’t understand either the institutional workings of the art world or the practices of artists active today unless you consider both local contexts and the larger international networks in which artists, works and ideas circulate. SOAS has immense expertise in the art of Asia, the Middle East and Africa. There are large areas of common interest and clear synergies.”
The first lecture organized in collaboration with SOAS will be held early in 2018 and will be open to the public. Speakers will be announced soon.
Verhagen hopes this new series of talks will expose students and the general public to artists who deserve to be better known in London. “We want to give a platform to artists who are well established but have rarely or never spoken to London audiences—and we also hope to raise the visibility of younger artists, artists whose work deserves, we feel, to be better known internationally.”
“We want to give a platform to artists who are well established but have rarely or never spoken to London audiences—and we also hope to raise the visibility of younger artists, artists whose work deserves, we feel, to be better known internationally.”
Verhagen and Professor Christopher Cramer, a development economist at SOAS, met as undergraduates at Cambridge, and together organized a lecture by the South African artist William Kentridge last year—the launchpad for this partnership. Other key faculty at both institutions, including Dr Katie Hill, Program Director of the MA in Modern and Contemporary Asian Art at Sotheby’s Institute of Art, are also involved in shaping the joint program.
At Sotheby’s Institute of Art, the series will complement the rigorous MA curricula by bringing in artists from around the world and by creating new academic networks that will complement the extensive access that students are already given to institutions and art world professionals in London and on international study trips.
By collaborating, SIA and SOAS are stressing their joint commitment to an expansive understanding of contemporary art. In the words of Verhagen, the collaboration will continue to “foster new ways of thinking about cultural exchange, the nomadic ways of artists, and the cultural, economic, and political connections that have evolved between different parts of the world.”